Christian universities MORE tolerant of diverse viewpoints
A piece by Graham Hillard that originally appeared in National Review dares to offer a solution to the hijacking of universities by leftists, “one of the most grievous flaws in contemporary American life,” and he makes a great case for it. Who would’ve anticipated that Christian colleges –- not secular schools –- would turn out to be the places that tolerated a variety of viewpoints and actually created an environment in which young people could learn how to think? (Well, frankly, I would have.)
Hillard, who teaches English and creative writing at Trevecca Nazarene University, begins by reminiscing about the first college-level class he ever sat in on (this was when he was still in high school), which happened to be a political science class. “It is no exaggeration to say that what I saw in the classroom that morning helped set the course for my life,” he says. What he saw was a professor dismantling “false certitudes” on both the left and the right –- the issue under discussion that day was capital punishment –- and making the students examine their own assumptions and beliefs. This was done so skillfully that at the end of the class, Hillary still had no clue as to the professor's own views on the death penalty. Hillard laments that this way of teaching seems to be “going the way of cursive handwriting and the slate chalkboard.”
I would add that this type of teaching is, in fact, actively discouraged or prohibited outright at most universities, lest a student be “triggered” by having his assumptions questioned and need to run to his or her “safe space,” pull on some flannel pajamas and drink warm cocoa with little marshmallows. Made with sustainable, organic chocolate, of course.
It’s not our imagination that universities are progressive “bubbles”; studies show conclusively that university faculty and administrators are overwhelmingly leftist. This lack of diversity when it comes to political ideology is so blatant that many education reformers on the right have talked about ditching the whole system. But Hillard sees another strategy. “Colleges will have to change, to be sure,” he says, “but in the meantime conservatives would be wise not only to celebrate but also to actively advance the interest of those institutions that are educating students properly right now.”
And which institutions are those? Hillard says that many Christian universities already have what conservatives say they want: an intellectually diverse faculty that provides the opportunity for students “to freely debate the ideas that have formed human existence.” Apparently, those who believe Christian schools simply fill students’ brains with religious dogma are wrong. “The liberal arts thrive on our Christian campuses,” he says. It’s there that the humanities and sciences have not been replaced by political indoctrination.
At secular universities, students are being taught what to think, not how to think, and that may explain a lot of the mindless acting-out we’re seeing today. Hillard quotes Thomas Jefferson, who said that a ‘liberal’ education [‘liberal’ in the classical sense, not the modern political sense] makes people “worthy to receive and able to guard the sacred rights and liberties of their fellow citizens.”
Yes, students will learn about the Gospel –- but that’s part of anyone’s well-rounded education in the humanities, or should be. Hillard says that while most campuses have been corrupted by relativism, Christian schools emphasize the active search for truth, the reason being that, in Christianity, the truth is real and it matters. He allows that there might be a few unfortunate exceptions among Christian educators, but in general, he sees that it comes down to a choice between “the foibles of believers and the willful malice of our secular colleagues.” Given that choice, he would certainly take the former.
Hillard makes a great case for supporting Christian universities. Here’s the entire piece…
Obama judge blocks President Trump
As reported yesterday, an Obama-appointed federal judge in San Francisco has blocked President Trump (I should set up a macro to type that part of the sentence in one keystroke, it would save a lot of time) from preventing asylum from being granted to people who enter the country illegally. Trump vowed to continue fighting these efforts by federal judges to usurp his Constitutional power to protect national security at our borders, and officials from the Justice Department and Homeland Security issued a joint statement rebuking the judge. They called it “absurd that a set of advocacy groups can be found to have standing to sue to stop the entire federal government from acting so that illegal aliens can receive a government benefit to which they are not entitled.” There’s more on this developing story here:
As an aside, I find it amazing that so many on the left constantly accuse Trump of being a power-mad dictator, a tyrant, or “literally Hitler.” Yet in some ways, he has been one of the most restricted and constrained Presidents in history. A few examples: despite having unquestionable authority to fire the head of the FBI or DOJ officials for any reason, when he fired James Comey (a richly-deserved canning that even Democrats had been clamoring for), he found himself accused of “obstructing justice” and having to deal with an endless investigation – and no matter how stunningly compromised the official overseeing the investigation (Rod Rosenstein) may be, imagine the nuclear reaction if Trump exercised his power to replace him, even though he should have had the integrity to step aside himself by now.
And despite having the sole Constitutional authority to take emergency measures to secure our borders, Trump is repeatedly blocked by unelected federal judges waving their gavels like Harry Potter’s magic wand. This latest ban on Trump doing his job will last at least until a second hearing on December 19th, and how many dangerous invaders will illegally enter the US between now and then? That’s precisely why the Founders put that power into the hands of one national executive who can act quickly, and not a crowd of bickering legislators or a legal system that moves slower than a turtle with arthritis. Yet Trump actually respects the legal procedure. Other Presidents, including some greatly admired by historians, might have told such overreaching judges to go whistle up a rope. And some of the same people denouncing Trump would have cheered them for their "strong stand."
Meanwhile, Democrats in the Senate petulantly refuse to confirm necessary staff positions at agencies such as HUD after nearly two years. They assail Dr. Ben Carson for not getting enough done while they block the appointments of the very people he needs to do it.
And let’s not even mention the White House press conferences, where reporters think they have the right to act like drunken hecklers on dollar beer night at the Chuckle Hut. When one of them finally crosses the line and gets thrown out, he begs a federal judge to force our “tyrant” President to let him back in again. And Trump actually does!
Considering the bullheadedness of his opposition, Trump has been amazingly effective at getting his agenda enacted. But the idea that he’s some kind of “tyrant” or “dictator” is laughable. He’s more like Gulliver in “Gulliver’s Travels”: a regular guy trying to do what needs to be done, but mischaracterized as a giant monster and hamstrung by a thousand strings placed on him by Lilliputians.
And while we’re talking about federal judges overstepping their powers, after this ruling, maybe even some on the left will now understand why putting all your faith in the hands of one unelected official is a horrible idea.
Headline of the Day!
From the Washington Free Beacon: “Georgia Democrats Seek Repeal of ‘Undemocratic’ Voter Purge Law Passed by Georgia Democrats”
Of course, this is about the election in Georgia, where losing gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has been showing all she’s learned at the feet of the Yoda of Sore Losers, Hillary Clinton. It’s funny how whenever Republicans lose a close election, it’s called “democracy,” but when Democrats lose a close election, it’s called “voter suppression.” And whenever Democrats lose, they never blame their own unpopular policies or uninspiring candidates. No, there’s always some unfair aspect of the system that’s to blame and that must be done away with. Like the Electoral College or the Senate or the gerrymandering that inexplicably costs them statewide elections.
In this latest case, they’re blaming a law that has been upheld by the Supreme Court and is actually required of states: that they insure that the voter rolls are accurate so that everyone can have faith in the election results. Georgia’s “Use It or Lose It” law takes years to remove someone from the voter rolls, and voters are given multiple chances to let the state know that they still live where the records say they live – or that they are alive at all. Democrats are now protesting that the law is voter suppression, even though the vast majority of names removed were those of dead people (granted, I’ve always heard that is one of the most loyal Democratic voting blocs.)
Making their righteous indignation even more hilarious is the fact that the law they’re now denouncing as “undemocratic” was actually passed in 1997 by a then-Democratic legislature and signed by a Democratic Governor. Of course, today, Georgia has a GOP legislature and Governor. If they want to claim that’s because fewer dead people are voting, I won’t argue with them.
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